February 19, 2023 – Finally I leave again and… I restart from Papozze. My slow tour “Un Po in camper” picks up where I left off: from a meeting with Roberto Guzzon, a nature guide ready to host the most curious and attentive to nature for guided excursions or zero km meals at his farm. So last night I went back to Papozze (RO). Arriving late in the evening in the fog, all I had to do was stop for the night in the cemetery car park, on the edge of the village. The farewell to Roberto is only postponed for a few hours.
Today, after a good coffee made in the moka on the stove and some excellent homemade sweets, the time has come to get back to exploring the banks of the river. If here, a few kilometers from the mouth, the water flow is maximum, the effects of the prolonged drought can still be seen, with some areas emerging to the delight of the local fauna.
The road continues on the left bank, which is a spectacular viewpoint. We just have to take into account the fact that some municipalities reserve it for the cycle and pedestrian path all year round, while most limit circulation in the hottest period. In short, you must always pay attention to the signs.
Phaeton in Crespino
Today’s intermediate stop is Crespino, a small town with less than 2,000 inhabitants a few kilometers from Papozze. Here, on the main square, the Town Hall and the Church of Santi Martino e Severo overlook. The municipal building houses two museums– Museum of the Bersaglieri and Museum of the Waters. I would have liked to visit the latter – whose exhibition is divided into three sections concerning the hydraulic safety of the Po, reclamation, fishing and the activities of the floating mills – but unfortunately it is closed from mid-December to the end of March. However, it was worth seeing Piazza Fetonte, which takes its name from the figure of Greek mythology. Legend has it that the young Phaeton fell right near Crespino, a few kilometers from the beginning of the Po delta.
For the evening, I decided on a small detour: following the indications in the Guide to the Osterie d’Italia, I went to Montecchio Polesine (about 5 km from the banks of the Po) to the Osteria Morin. A tartufo and stracciatella beef tartare and homemade maccheroncelli with duck ragù and smoked ricotta, accompanied by water, half a liter of Sangiovese, a good coffee and an excellent grappa, fully satisfied my palate. The €47 bill was adequate for the quality of the food and the exquisite service.
- Where to sleep: in the parking lot of the WWF Golena di Panarella Oasis, in the parking lot of the Papozze cemetery or in via del Cimitero in Montecchio Polesine
- Where to eat: It is worth making a small detour to Osteria Morin, piazza Matteotti 151, Montecchio Polesine
- Camper service: The closest (13.9 km) is still that of Mazzorno, along the banks of the Po, in via Gesù Crepaldi 6. Here there are 5 large stalls, electricity for a fee (€2 for 8 hour), camper service and drinking water loading (for a fee: 10 cents every 10 litres)